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Carroll County Times

On Running: A race to help us all Believe Big

Ivelisse Page isn't a runner. She developed her endurance through other means. Those same means led her to a connection with the River Valley Ranch 10K, a race in Hampstead that was recently ranked as one of the top trail races in the nation by the website seriousrunning.com. The race began seven years ago as a 5K to raise funds for the operations of River Valley Ranch, a facility that offers camps and retreats with a Christian and wholesome family environment. One of the race directors, Jon Bissett, told me that the 10K trail race was added in 2009 with the expectation that it would become one of the area's premier trail running events, a goal that's been achieved. "It's a community event," Jon told me, which is why one of the benefactors of the race this year, to be held on Aug. 17, will be the Believe Big foundation. That leads us back to Ivelisse. Her father was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer when he was 37, the same age she was when she was diagnosed. Just a teenager when her father passed away, she was terrified to think her four children would have to live through the same experience. The stage-three diagnosis came despite her diligence with preventative care. She ate well, exercised and had regular colonoscopies. The doctors removed 15 inches of her colon along with 28 lymph nodes, and they were happy to find that the cancer was present in just one of the lymph nodes. But five weeks later, she received shocking news: the cancer had spread to her liver, elevating her condition to stage-four and giving her a survival rate of 8 percent. The tumor on her liver was removed and afterward Ivelisse began a complementary and alternative therapy, receiving daily injections that alternated between mistletoe and thymus, cimetidine, homeopathic remedies and additional supplements. Her treatment was individualized just for her, and as she received the medical attention, she received something else that may have been even more important - hope. Ivelisse has been cancer-free for more than four years now. She continues to receive injections, which she can give herself, to help prevent a reccurrence. It would be inspiring if the story ended here, but it doesn't. In 2011 Ivelisse, along with her husband Jimmy, founded Believe Big with a mission to fill the gap often left by traditional health care. They're helping cancer patients become the advocate for their own care, providing resources that allows each patient to decide what they need individually. Believe Big is in the early stage of developing a Mistletoe Clinical Trial in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Hospital, bringing traditional and alternative medicine together. The trial will begin once $300,000 has been raised, making the River Valley Ranch race particularly meaningful this year. Ivelisse doesn't run, but she does things every runner should do. She endures. She gives. And, she believes big.
Ivelisse Page isn't a runner. She developed her endurance through other means.
Those same means led her to a connection with the River Valley Ranch 10K, a race in Hampstead that was recently ranked as one of the top trail races in the nation by the website seriousrunning.com.
The race began seven years ago as a 5K to raise funds for the operations of River Valley Ranch, a facility that offers camps and retreats with a Christian and wholesome family environment.
One of the race directors, Jon Bissett, told me that the 10K trail race was added in 2009 with the expectation that it would become one of the area's premier trail running events, a goal that's been achieved.
"It's a community event," Jon told me, which is why one of the benefactors of the race this year, to be held on Aug. 17, will be the Believe Big foundation. That leads us back to Ivelisse.
Her father was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer when he was 37, the same age she was when she was diagnosed. Just a teenager when her father passed away, she was terrified to think her four children would have to live through the same experience.
The stage-three diagnosis came despite her diligence with preventative care. She ate well, exercised and had regular colonoscopies.
The doctors removed 15 inches of her colon along with 28 lymph nodes, and they were happy to find that the cancer was present in just one of the lymph nodes. But five weeks later, she received shocking news: the cancer had spread to her liver, elevating her condition to stage-four and giving her a survival rate of 8 percent.
The tumor on her liver was removed and afterward Ivelisse began a complementary and alternative therapy, receiving daily injections that alternated between mistletoe and thymus, cimetidine, homeopathic remedies and additional supplements.
Her treatment was individualized just for her, and as she received the medical attention, she received something else that may have been even more important - hope.
Ivelisse has been cancer-free for more than four years now. She continues to receive injections, which she can give herself, to help prevent a reccurrence.
It would be inspiring if the story ended here, but it doesn't. In 2011 Ivelisse, along with her husband Jimmy, founded Believe Big with a mission to fill the gap often left by traditional health care. They're helping cancer patients become the advocate for their own care, providing resources that allows each patient to decide what they need individually.
Believe Big is in the early stage of developing a Mistletoe Clinical Trial in affiliation with Johns Hopkins Hospital, bringing traditional and alternative medicine together. The trial will begin once $300,000 has been raised, making the River Valley Ranch race particularly meaningful this year.
Ivelisse doesn't run, but she does things every runner should do. She endures. She gives. And, she believes big.


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